Wednesday, October 10, 2012

New Wardrobe To Do List:

Edited October 18:

dress with long sleeves
  I altered a dress I had made for Little Bear when he was in his SPICA.  Because the dress was so large around the middle, I made it so that it could be altered for Pookie at a later date.

shirt with long sleeves  Ok, I didn't make anything, but I remembered that Little Bear has 2 older brothers that have outgrown their old re-enacting clothes.


Wonder Boy
coat Wonder Boy actually has a lovely woolen over shirt.  I've been wanting to make one for a while.  It is toasty warm.

add ruffle to dress
morning cap

How soon do you think that I can get this done?  Mmmmm. . . .  we'll see.

Off to work on Pookie's slippers.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I do not have that many kids.  There are only four.  So imagine my shock yesterday when the receptionist that the vet asked me if they were all mine.  "Yes," I said.
"Well you know, they know how that happens now . . ." he said with a smile.

I know he was trying to be funny, but I found this really offensive.  What could someone be implying when they say things like that?

You have too many kids.  (Which one should not have been born?)
You are irresponsible.  (None of our children were unplanned.)
You have too much sex.  (None of your business)
You can't possibly give these children everything they need.  (We may not give them everything they want, but they have everything they need.)
You are over populating the Earth.  (This country is struggling to maintain replacement birth rate.)

For goodness sakes, let's think a little before we speak. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

The World Gone Mad

Graces is the game you see pictured.  Each player has two sticks and he uses them to fling the hoop.  the second player tries to catch the hoop on her sticks.  It is a simple and charming game.

This is the warning on the game of graces we recently bought.

Caution: Not a Toy
The Games of Graces is a sporting games played with sports equipment--it is not a child's  toy.  The game is intended to be played by adults or with adult supervision of children at least 8 years old.  Be aware of players around you to avoid collisions; leave adequate space among player, and among spectators, to avoid hitting anyone with a  grace wand or with the flying hoop; wear eye protection to avoid injury from wands or with the flying hoops; do not send a hoop flying toward an opponent if that opponent is unaware of you actions; do not sent the hoop toward any player's head; if a hoop is coming towards your head, move to avoid contact; play on a flat suface to avoid falls . . . etc., etc., etc.

Prayer for Religious Liberty
Almighty God, Father of all nations,
For freedom you have set us free in Christ Jesus (Gal 5:1).
We praise and bless you for the gift of religious liberty
the foundation of human rights, justice, and the common good.
Grant to our leaders the wisdom to protect and promote our liberties;
By your grace may we have the courage to defend them, for ourselves and
for all those who live in this blessed land.
We ask this through the intercession of Mary Immaculate, our patroness,
and in the name of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
with whom you live and reign, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

How To Be a Village

I found a great blog post about how to support others who are adopting.  It has many truths in it that extended family and friends should know. 

I especially like that the author tells others that the transition for the whole family is very, very, very, very, VERY hard.  That doesn't mean anything is wrong or that things aren't working.  It just very hard.  Even after two years Little Bear struggles with emotional regulation and over stimulation.  By the way, it is never helpful to express the opinion the "You asked for it" or "Maybe you shouldn't have adopted him" which at least one person has said to me. 

The author also reminds others that parents may put up boundaries that seem unreasonable, but are important  to create a cohesive family.  Boundaries like not visiting often at first or not kissing the newly adopted child are very hard to understand.  There are good reasons and they help a new child bond to the rest of the family.  When you respect these limits you show a great deal of love and respect for the new child and his family.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

An Orphan's Wish is one of my favorite charities.  They are a foster home in China that cares for children with various special needs.  This place is different.  It shine with an inner light that comes from doing great work with great love, and the children shine, too.

An Orphan's Wish offers monthly sponsorships to contribute to the care of their kids, but for some $35.00 a month is just too much.  you can now sponsor a child for $10.00 a month by joining "The Dragon Club." 

Go.  Check it out.  You WILL fall in love the kids.

dragon side bar GRAY

Holly says "Thank You!"

One step further

I love it when the kids go one step beyond what I have planned for them.  The older boys have a space themed bedroom.  The wall are blue and their linens have rockets and planets on them.  The curtains are covered with stars.  For Christmas they received glow-in-the-dark stars.  Instead of just sticking the stars up evenly over the ceiling as I would have done, they consulted their H. A. Rey book of constellations and arranged their stars with their favorite constellations.  I love that "good enough" wasn't good enough for them.  It had to be extraordinary.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sad News

Harmony is no longer available for adoption.  This is so sad.  These children with special needs face a horrific future if they are not adopted.  It is beyond grim.  They will either leave the orphanage with, at best, a substandard education, no support and no place in society as being an orphan carries a huge social stigma, OR they will be transferred to a mental institution where they will live for the rest of their life. 

Please pray for these sweet children.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Emergency Adoption!!

A 15 year old girl in Asia with Downs Syndrome needs a family right now.  She will age out in July and lose her chance at having a family forever.

From the family who is advocating for her:

"…she needs a family to step forward quickly who is “already home study-approved, has their USCIS approval, and is registered with the officials from her country,” otherwise she will live out her years in a mental institution."

"Harmony" is adorable.  If you want more information you can visit Reece's Rainbow or The Blessing of Verity.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


"We are an Easter people and Alleluia is our song"
Bl John Paul II

Monday, April 9, 2012

An Unplanned Adoption

We didn't mean to do it.  Really, sometimes these things just happen.  We were at the park and saw  a baby in need.  After speaking to the park to park staff we found out that he had been abandoned in a bathroom.  He has amber colored eyes and the sweetest little nose. 

Introducing the newest addition to the family . . .

Koshka (Russian for cat)
Jophus made the boys gymnastics team!!!!   He has been working for this for over a year now, and I am so proud of him.  Congratulations, my sweet boy!
I am here today to let everyone know that punctuation is our friend.  Ok, folks, let please remember that a well placed comma or period help others to understand what you are trying to say.  I have spent untold hours teaching my children complex (and clearly archaic) grammar rules such as statements end in a period and capitalize the first letter of a sentence.  If you are out of elementary school, you have no excuse.  Sheesh!

Sorry, lost it after trying to read comments after a news article.  Rant over. 
A Happy and Blessed Easter to You!

Christ is Risen!
Indeed,  He is Risen!

Dirty Dishes-Scotty McCreery

Friday, April 6, 2012

An Unexpected Gift

God has blessed me in many, many ways.  I have more than anyone person could ever hope for, and yet a few days ago God once again poured out another blessing.  A dear friend that I had lost touch with contacted me.  Although we did not have much time to speak, I know we will take more time soon. 

God is good!

I love the Triduum

As my faith life has grown I have been blessed to fall in love with the Triduum, that is to say Holy thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil.  Our family has attended all three services for the past six years or so and they equal about 8 hours of church attendance.  If you don't go, boy are you missing out!  My Easter experience is so much richer for having gone.

On Holy Thursday we celebrate the institution of the priesthood and the Last Supper.  Every year twelve member of the parish are chosen, and our pastor tenderly washes their feet as Jesus did.  I was chosen several years ago, and it was incredibly moving.

On Good Friday we hear about out Lord's Passion and then we have the opportunity to venerate the cross.

Easter Vigil at our parish is inspired.  The introductory reading take you though salvation history and are set to music.  We bless the new Easter candle and everyone lights a small candle from it.  this is also the night that new (adult) members of parish are welcomed into the Church.  We have Baptisms, First Communions and Confirmations. 

I hope your Easter traditions deepen your relationship with Chist.  God bless you!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Visited the Preschool

I did in fact go to visit the preschool that our psychologist.  It is pretty special.  The ratio of teachers to students is 4:1 or better with a maximum of 7 children.  Each family has a consultant who is a psychotherapist, M.D., psychologist or similar.  The teachers and consultants meet weekly to design the program for the children with therapies and interventions for each child.  Wow!

They are full right now, of course.  If we still feel the need, we will talk to them in the summer or fall.

EEG Results

Little Bear's EEG results came back normal.  We have also had speech and OT/ Sensory testing done through the school and will have it done privately as well.  Thus far all is well.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Why Do You Home School?

I'm really thinking out loud here.  We have been asked to consider sending Little Bear to a preschool program, but I am very skeptical.  Apart from the disruption to the family schedule, which would not be insignificant, I am not certain it works with my family goals.  On the other hand, I don't want to deny him an experience that could be very healing.

We have been homeschooling for a quite some time now.  In fact, none of the children have attended traditional school.  The reasons why we first started have been lost to time.  (I actually don't remember.  If you do, let me know.)  So I decided to make a list of why we are still at it, even on the days when I sigh wistfully at the big yellow school bus.

Home school is integrated.  Life is not a series of boxes, but a tangle.  I do not live faith in one place, my education in another, and my family life in another.  All are mixed together.

Home school in flexible.  I can decide on a specific textbook for one child, but not for another.  Wonder Boy uses Math-U- See.  Jophus uses Abeka.  We can change methods and techniques.  We can create our own schedule.  In September the older boys spent a week on vacation with their grandparents.  If they had been in traditional school they could not have done that.  We go to school in parks, while the preschoolers have gymnastics, and outside on the deck.

Home school is a shelter in the storm.  Almost everyone says that children grow up too fast these days.  Why do we accept that?  Learning at home has allowed my children not to be as overly mature and materialistic as many of their same age peers.  (Yes, they have same age peers.  We school at home, not lock them in a box.) 

Home school strengthens the family bonds.  I like spending time with my kids.  They are fun, creative, and occasionally very charming. 

They want to learn at home.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spring Sewing List

Time to get going on my reenacting sewing.  This year is is not at all like lat year, but there is still plenty to do.

2 shirts

alter a few dresses to get more length out of them

Little Bear
3 trousers
1 tunic

Wonder Boy
let down several pairs of pants
new buttons on a shirt- we got a hand me down from someone and I want to change the buttons on it.
new coat

let down a pair a of pants- his first pair of pants still fits in the waist from 3 years ago, but he has grown several inches.
new coat

I haven't even begun to examine it.  I'd like a new dress and I need to upgrade my underpinnings quite desperately.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Read the Printed Word!

Exceeding all Exceptations

For all that Little Bear challenges us (and he does) he also never fails to exceed our expectations.  When we signed the papers to adopt him, I had never even seen the extent of Little Bear's special needs.  He was ours, and that was that.  I expected for him to have both legs amputated at the knee and to be dealing with prosthetic limbs so that he could be fully mobile.  I believed that there might be things he could never do.  Boy, was I wrong! 

Little Bear's birthday present last year was a bike.  A few months he went rollerskating for the first time, and just last week he began to walk on the balance beam by himself.  (We go to a great gymnastics school.  The owner/ head coach once asked when Bear was going to join.  I said that I didn't know that gymnastics was going to be his thing since most gymnasts needed fibulas.  He just shrugged and said that they'd get him on pommel horse.)  All this from a child who, when he goes to the doctor gets the very real question, "Can he walk?"

You rock, Little Bear!

What's in a name?

Until today the title of this blog was Mama-saurus Rex.   A long time ago the children all made up dinosaur names incorporating their given name.  There was a Wonder Boy-a-don and a Pookie-aptrix.  It was very cute and very clever.  I told them that I was the Mamasaurus Rex.  I knew all.  I saw all. I was the biggest, baddest dinosaur in town. 

The past two year have proven me wrong.  Parenting Little Bear has brought every flaw, every bump and wart into sharp relief.  Not only do I see my failings and struggles, they jump up , smack me in the face, and run off laughing.

I know little.  I am blind to much.  I am not the best or the brightest.  I am one small voice crying out.

But I love my kids to distraction.  I have a friend that used to say,"I love you as big as the sky, and the sky never ends!"  With that in mind, the blog continues.

Monday, March 5, 2012

China suspends Wastch Adoption agency

"Due to a suspension by CCCWA, Wasatch is unable to accept new clients into our China adoption program. All families currently in the adoption process will not be affected by this suspension. All individual list children have been released to the shared list."

I think it is important for people to have accurate information about agencies.  I do not know why this agecny was suspended, but I have heard RUMORS that a person employed at the agency was acting unethically in regards to locking special needs files, allowing people who did not have their dossiers ready get a referral for a child with minor special needs.  This a rumor only and I can't confirm.  BUT I think it is important to know what has happened in an agency's past so you can evaluate them when and if you want to become a client.  An agency that has been unethical in the past, may be in the furture and that can put not only a family's adoption in jeopary, but it can hurt the whole program.

The Department of State has received reports that local departments of education and some judges in Russia have instituted a de facto freeze on adoptions to the United States. In some instances we are told that local departments of education have refused to provide referrals which are necessary for agencies and families to schedule court dates.

The Department of State has not received official notice that adoptions to the United States have been suspended and continues to work closely with Russian authorities to obtain as much information on the situation as possible. Updated information will be provided as it becomes available on

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

And we have a winner!

Wonder Boy and Jophus competed in their pack's pinewood derby on Saturday.  Wonder Boy made a rickshaw and Jophus went with the classic wedge.  The competition was steep, but when the dust settled Jophus won not just his den, but the whole kit and caboodle.  That's right.  He was first out of about 30 different entries.  We are very proud, especially since mom and dad did not help at all in the construction of the car.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

I love you just as you are, but I love you too much to let you stay that way.

Orphan Sunday-- not a big goat

Adoptive parenting is not like biological parenting.  I didn't believe it at first.  Charlie made a comparison:  We've been raising goats, and we got this horse.  We've tried to care for it like a big goat, but it's not a goat.  Horses need horse food and a different amount of space.  They have a different temperament. 

There are alot of reason that adopted children may need different parent skills than biological.
1.  My biological children were never exposed to drugs and alcohol in utero.  (We have not idea about Little Bear's experience.)
2.  My biological were never sedated.  It is very possible that Little Bear was.  Who knows what was used and what it did to his developing brain and his ability to regulate his emotions.
3.  My biological children began developing a connection to me before they were born.  By the time they were ready to seek some independence, we were strongly attached to one another.  Little Bear can be very conflicted over our relationship.  Our attachment does not have the strength  that the other children have.  When it is strained and stressed it really suffers.
4.  Little Bear has little emotional control.  In this he is just like a baby.  He hits that freak out place long before most children do.  I am trying to learn new strategies to keep everyone level, but it is such a shift in my mind.
5.  Little Bear has suffered more loss than my other children will ever understand.  He has lost caregivers, language, comfort items, culture, physical skills.  He has suffered a lot of pain from surgeries. 

This leaves us with new challenges and we have to find  way to meet them.  Pretty much this week (after talking to a psychologist) I have been trying to parent him like a toddler-- with redirection and calm down time.  Kind of like if Mr. Rogers was disciplining .    More later on how that worked.

Thanks for listening to me ramble.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Orphan Sunday- New from Russia

Russia to halt U.S. adoptions amid domestic violence claims

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's Foreign Ministry is asking the government to suspend adoptions of Russian children by U.S. nationals following an "incessant string of crimes" allegedly committed by American adoptive parents.
Russian authorities say that at least 17 Russian children have died in domestic violence incidents in their American families.

The Ministry said Saturday that the adoptions should resume only after Moscow and Washington sign an accord that allows Russian monitors to visit the homes of adopted children.
A Pennsylvanian couple was convicted in November of the involuntary manslaughter of their son adopted from Russia.
In 2010, a Tennessee woman sent her allegedly violent adopted son on a plane back to Russia — unaccompanied by an adult.
U.S. citizens have adopted nearly 50,000 Russian children since the early 1990s.

By the way, I would have a hard time letting Russian inspectors into my home.  In court we did agree to abide to what ever laws were passed, but I would not let an inspector into my home without a social worker or the police.  I would prefer to meet with them at a social workers office, to be completely honest.  Little Bear is very uncomfortable about the topic of  Russia, bordering on scared.  He does not want to hear Russian and the idea of visiting was very frightening to him.  I am concerned what a visit from Russian officials would do to him.
Also, I don't mean to minimize the death of a child because that is a horrific thing, but if there have been 50,000 adoption and 17 death that is .032% of adoptions.  I hardly think that is an "incessant string of crimes."

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Wonder Boy tested from his green belt last week and is now considered an advanced student.  We are very proud of his hard work and dedication.


Little Bear had an EEG today.  The neurologist is trying to rule out seizures as a reason for some of Bear's behavior problems.  We should have the results in a week.


Last week was one of those hurry, hurry, rush, rush kind of weeks.  We has three doctor's appointments in three days.  Little Bear had a very bad week due to that stress that culminated in a total screaming meltdown from both him and me.  It was not a bright shining moment for either us.  He bit, hit, and scratched finally drawing blood.  (I always said that I would be totally honest on the blog.  I want people to understand both side of adoption.  Adoption is a beautiful thing.  We were called by God to do it, but it has tested everything in me.  I'm not going to paint things things rosy when they aren't.) 

This week we are taking it easy.  I canceled school this week and took a little vacation.  We have been so stressed out that we have no mental and emotional reserves.  The smallest stress send us into a tailspin because are running on empty all the time. 

I have spent time this week reading, going to the zoo and museums  and spending time with the kids not doing school work.  Hoping this will revitalize our school and re-energize our spirits.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

"In effect, the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences"
Arch Bishop Timothy Dolan

The Obama administration and the Dept of Health and human services has mandated that Catholic and other religious institutions provide contraceptives and sterilizations in their health insurance plans regardless of their conscience or religious views.

We are not forcing our beliefs upon anyone else. We respect the constitutional right of all faiths to freely exercise their religion. We simply want that constitutional right given to us as well.
Bill Thierfelder, President of Bellmont Abbey College

HHS argues that there is a conscience clause, but it is so narrow as to render it useless.  Once a religious community goes out into the world and serves people outside its own faith, that religious institution loses its exemption.  Universities, hospitals, and social service organization would not be exempt.

So what?  This is a huge attack on how people can worship and practice.  This forces people to participate in an evil.  While you may not agree that abortion and birth control are evil, I hope you can see how the next time the government infringes on religious freedom, it may be yours.
"Look Mommy, we're playing so nicely!"  the little guys just told me (with a little bit of wonder and amazement  in their voice.)

Orphan Sunday

Ok, I know it's not Sunday, but I've been busy.

I am totally taken with this young lady and hoping that someone out there is ready to be her mommy and daddy. 

"Dawn" is 12 1/2 years old and has Spina Bifida.  I know that sounds scary, and I'm not making light of it, but there is so much more that she can do, than she can't.  She uses a wheelchair, but can get in and out of her chair and can go up and down stairs on her own.  when asked she said that she knows that being adopted and moving to another culture would be hard, but she wants a family and she is willing to work hard.  She also knows that she will have many more educational and job opportunities her than in China where wheelchair use is not as common. 

"Dawn's" personality just shines and I can tell  shat she will grab any opportunity and run with it.
"Dawn" must be adopt by her 14th birthday.  After that she is not eligible for adoption.  She is on the shared list which means that ant agency doing adoptions in China can request her file and facilitate her adoption.  She is also special focus so you can get permission to adopt before you even have a homestudy.  Her birthday is Feb. 6, 1999.

Note:  The name Dawn is merely a pseudonym.  All you should need is her birthday and special need to get things going.  On the shared list her special need is listed as "bilateral paralysis of lower limbs."

Friday, January 27, 2012

Little Bear's hip is doing well.  I guess when you have this much going  on in your legs things just look a little catty-wompus.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I am scared that Little Bear's hip is once again dislocated.  If you have  a minute, please say a prayer for us.  I don't know what treatment there is if these surgeries have failed.  It make me sooooooo angry that he was never treated in Russia.  Most children who have hip dysplasia, get treatment as an infant and never have problems again.  Instead they put off a not so invasive, if annoying therapy, forcing his into what will almost certain;y be serious arthritis and a hip replacement. later in life.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

New!!! Orphan Sunday

Orphan Sunday is a project that brings notice to the orphans in the world.

 "On Orphan Sunday, Christians stand for the orphan. We are a people called to defend the fatherless…to care for the child that has no family…to visit orphans in their distress." 

I am dedicating my Sunday posts to bringing orphans and adoption into the forefront. Be ready for adoption stories, ways to help and profiles of beautiful children available for adoption.


Why We Didn't Choose Domestic Adoption

One of the criticisms that international adoption gets is that we should take care of the children in the United States first.  Some go so far as to say things like this:

"As someone who has been adopted, I am offended that you would not first look at adopting a child from here at home in the US,  . . . .
What about the 15 year old here at home who needs to be adopted but isn't because he/she has medical issues? For you to bypass your fellow citizens makes ME sick.  . . .
I feel that you are part of the despicable "baby market". It disgusts me that instead of adopting a sick child from here at home, that you essentially BOUGHT a child from abroad."
(You can see the whole post here.  It is in one of the comments.)

Pretty harsh, huh?
     We wanted to adopt from the US.  We looked into it.  We were told that the children in our state that needed to be adopted were over the age of eight with traumatic pasts.  Since our oldest was six at the time and our youngest was only 18 months we decided that would not be a good idea.  Too many chances that an older child could abuse the kids like he had been abused before.  Plus the older boys had pretty strong ideas about remaining the oldest.  More recently we checked into it again.  No one from the agency bother to respond to my request for information.
     When we did explore adopting a waiting child from the United States, we were told we could become foster parents and then IF our foster child became available for adoption we could apply to adopt.  We wanted to be parents and could not really commit ourselves to reuniting the birth family.  (We would have never undermine a reunification plan, we just had a different goal.) 
     Frankly, the foster care system did not need the kind of adoptive parents that we were.  Our kids were too young, especially when you consider that many social workers advise adopting in birth order.  There are plenty of people to adopt the youngest children.  We would have waited ages before getting a placement.  There is not need to demonize people who examined their options and decided that they would not be good parents for a certain type of child.  Not everyone can parent every child.  I know tons of people who would not have wanted to adopt a child with sever limb differences, but that was fine with us. 
     So keeping in mind that a) we wanted to adopt an AMERICAN child in need but b) were not good candidates we proceeded to international adoption.  Children in other countries deserve a family just as much as American children.
     By the way, I did not buy a child.  No one ever promised me a child.  In fact there were heaps of warnings that a child was not guaranteed.  People can and do go home empty handed.  I paid social workers for a home study.  I paid  doctors.  I paid notaries.  I paid the US government for fingerprints, visas, apostilles, and FBI background checks.  I paid lawyers fees.  I paid an orphanage fee for food, clothes, speech therapists, medicine, and  caregiver salaries.   I paid the driver and the translator.  I did not buy my son. 

P.S.  The "Baby Market"--  Yes there has been and still is corruption in the adoption world.  We are a fallen people and we sin.  Everyone in adoption should be working to protect the innocent children and families, but  it is becoming nigh on impossible to adopt a young healthy child from any country.  The last I heard in the US there are 10 prospective parents for every newborn to be adopted.  The wait for a "healthy" Chinese baby in 4-6 years, and many agencies do only special needs adoption.  The Philippines and Bulgaria are the same way. 
     Special needs children can spend years unwanted.  My son did.  They are seen as defective or cursed or their birthparents are unable to afford medical care for them.  People in their country usually do not want a child with expensive-to-treat medical condition who will not be able to go to school or get a job later in life.  They will be institutionalized for life.  They are "the poorest of the poor," as Mother Teresa put it.  The unloved.  The unwanted.  There is no "market" for these children and they deserve a family as much as any child from this country.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Happy birthday, my beloved husband! 

You are the best, most supportive, loving man ever.

The Face of God

Every now and then we are blessed to see God's love at work in the world in a very tangible way.  I was so blessed when I hear about a family from Pennsylvania and their adopted daughter from Bulgaria.  Little Katie is nine and a half years old.  She has Down's Syndrome.  At her adoption she weighted 10.5 pounds.  Really.  Her family's story is one of great love and compassion, and I want to share it with you. 

Please visit

You will never be the same.  I know I won't.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Little Bear got tubes in his ears this morning.  He had fluid in his ears and had for many months.  It wasn't infected, but it never went away.  We are hoping that it will improve is speech and vocabulary.  I know he can already hear better.  I'm also hoping that he will realize how loud he is and bring the volume down a little.  In the back of my mind I am hoping it will also effect his behavior if he is hearing better and not so tired.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Are they all yours?

When we are out during the day I frequently hear, "Are they all yours?" (Sheesh folks, there are only 4!)  I was really surprised one day to hear a cashier say, "Thanks for having the courage to have more than one.  Babies are great." 

I thought about this for a long time.  Having the children is not a sacrifice.  Well, not completely.  I mean, loving anyone involves sacrifice.  I get so many things from them.  I would  never be the person that I am today without the children.  They have challenged me to grow in maturity, patience and self donative love.  Without them my faith would not be as strong and I would never considered thinking critically about the culture that we live in and if I really want to live in it.  I would be less organized and much more lazy.  (Not that I excel in any of these skills.)

They are my desolation, my mortification, my sanctification and my consolation.  They remind me that God has faith in ME.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Making a House a Home

When we bought the house there were several exclusions we knew that we would have to replace pretty quickly.  First and foremost were the dining room light and the fireplace surround.  Both were wedding gifts to the previous family.  They also took some of the draperies and all the bathroom mirrors (not previously discussed and tacky, I thought.  On the other hand, I was not enamoured with some of the mirrors anyway.) 

In our area we have a great architectural salvage and antique store called Materials Unlimited.  One Sunday we visited and found a great light fixture.  It is an electrified gas lamp c. 1895.  It was beautiful and no more expensive than a nice reproduction.  Luck would have it that  there was also a mantle right in the doorway.  After several measurement and much thought we bought that as well.  Charlie trekked out to the store on Christmas Eve so that we could get it in as soon as possible.  Just two days ago it was up and I love it.  My history geek is also crazy about the fact that my mantle is 120 years old.

I am having a great time trying to keep the historic character in our "Victorian" home.  I want very much to make the house as accurate as possible when it is practical.  It has been a great education to learn about the Victorian era from another direction i.e. not the Civil War. 

We still have something that have to be bought.  Our sofa is too big for the smaller living room that we now have.  We also need the privacy that drapes will give.  I am researching textile designs by William Morris for the curtains in the living room.  We also just bought a dining table in the Queen Anne style that will seat all of us and then some.  Quite by chance the table is stained the same color as the mantle.  Things are really coming together.